Category Archives: Feature

Best Songs of 2014: January-March

artwork by topher edwards

Welcome to our quarterly round-up of the best (read: our favorite) songs of the first three months of year! We spend all year long tracking down our favorites and we thought it would be useful to clearly outline the songs we enjoy the most at the beginning of every new quarter. Below we have our top 25 tracks ranked in order of our fervent obsession (the #1 pick should not be a surprise, whatsoever), but you’ll find a much longer list of songs on our playlist – streamable above via Rdio. Spotify users click here. These playlists are updated throughout the year, so you should probably subscribe.

Let us know what we missed: @pmablog

Review our favorites of 2013: ALBUMS | SONGS | EPS | MIXTAPES


01 Future Islands, “Seasons (Waiting On You)”


02 ScHoolboy Q, “Man of the Year”


03 Wild Beasts, “Wanderlust”


04 Beyoncé, “Partition”


05 Perfect Pussy, “Interference Fits”


06 Against Me!, “Transgender Dysmorphia Blues”


07 St. Vincent, “Digital Witness”


08 Cloud Nothings, “I’m Not A Part Of Me”


09 Beck, “Country Down”


10 Beyoncé, “Drunk In Love”

Best Songs of 2014: January March Best Songs of 2014: January March


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Coachella 2014: 34 Must-See Bands

by GENEVIEVE OLIVER

It’s April, which means it’s Coachella time, and even if you’re not a celebrity who’s getting bankrolled to show up you’re probably pretty psyched. If you’re heading down to the festival this weekend, please bring many crop tops regardless of your gender, remember to drink plenty of water, and do your thang responsibly. If you’re not heading to California, get a bunch of Trader Joe’s snacks, call in sick, and camp out on your couch to live stream the whole thing on YouTube! However you’ll be experiencing the festival, we made a list of acts we’ll be sure to catch – peruse our suggestions below.

Coachella 2014: 34 Must See Bands Coachella 2014: 34 Must See Bands

FRIDAY

12:30-1:15 – the Preatures @ Coachella Stage
We’ve been singing the praises of the Preatures since we first heard “Is This How You Feel?” so we’re psyched that they’ve graduated to a Coachella-caliber stage – let alone the main one. Within a year you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss their 12:30 set, so drag yourself out of your tent and check it out.

2:10-2:55 – Austra @ Gobi Stage
OR 2:30-3:15 – Dum Dum Girls @ Outdoor Theatre
OR 2:50-3:35 MS MR @ Coachella Stage

Voila, within the first three hours of the festival comes your most heartbreaking decision. Do you like guitars? If so, go for Dum Dum Girls, who have a new record coming and will likely perform lots of new material. If no, try and catch Austra and/or MS MR, both great live acts who are sure to get you dancing.

3:20-4:10 – Jagwar Ma @ Gobi Stage
We still can’t turn off Howlin’ to the point that our friends and family are starting to become concerned. If you’re in the same boat, indulge in your fix – and if you’re uninitiated, go get hooked.

4:55-5:45 – HAIM @ Outdoor Theatre
5:50-6:35 – Kate Nash @ Gobi Stage
6:15-7:05 – Neko Case @ Outdoor Theatre
6:40-7:30 – Ellie Goulding @ Coachella Stage

If you feel up to doing a ton of running around, you can catch pretty much all our favorite ladies – start out with the weird-pop sister act HAIM, then run over and hope Kate Nash breaks out her FIDLAR cover, swing by the Outdoor Theater to see Neko Case perform material from The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, then head on over (maybe walking this time) to the Coachella stage to catch an early-evening set from Ellie Goulding.

7:55-8:45 – Chromeo @ Coachella Stage
9:40-10:30 – Girl Talk @ Coachella Stage

Stick around the Coachella Stage after Ellie’s set to get into the fist-pumping rave-y mood with two of the masters of the genre, Chromeo and Girl Talk – and hope for new material (and guest appearances!) from both artists.

10:30-end – the Knife @ Outdoor Theatre
Duh.
AND/OR 11:30-end – OutKast @ Coachella Stage
Again, duh.

Coachella 2014: 34 Must See Bands Coachella 2014: 34 Must See Bands


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Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #7

This week’s Tracking, the weekly series in which we discuss our current favorite songs, features music from Against Me!, The Antlers, Jamie xx, Yumi Zouma, Wye Oak and Mikal Cronin.

Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #7 Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #7

Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #7

Against Me!, “Transgender Dysmorphia Blues” / “True Trans Should Rebel”
Gender ambiguity has been ubiquitous in the last four decades of American culture. From Bowie’s 70s heyday to the cult popularity of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” blurred notions of masculinity and femininity have almost exclusively been presented (and largely accepted) with glamour. A trans* person’s daily life, of course, bears little resemblance to such drag pageantry. Even in the best cases, a trans* individual faces a daily threat of suspicion and scorn, if not actual physical danger. This is the side of trans* identity that has been conspicuously absent in popular art, though there are some notable exceptions. Even fewer examples exist in music, the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch coming closest to (often brilliantly) dramatizing a trans* character’s internal experience through song.

So when Transgender Dysphoria Blues arrived earlier this year, it felt like a genuine breakthrough. Against Me! lead singer Laura Jane Grace launches into her artistic outing as a trans woman by laying all bare. Referring to herself in the second-person on the album’s title track, which opens Transgender Dysphoria Blues, she spits an immediately iconic lyric: “You’ve got no cunt in your strut/ You’ve got no hips to shake.” This, of course, is meant to shock. But it’s not presented for mere shock value. By using the dirtiest word in the English language, Grace jolts us out of our skin and makes plain the anger and self-loathing surrounding her (seeming) inability to “pass” for her true gender. “True Trans Soul Rebel” follows and is all the more devastating, with Grace fighting thoughts of suicide.

Against Me! juxtapose the dejection of Grace’s words by smartly turning “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” and “True Trans Soul Rebel” into a pair of forceful stadium-rock anthems. Rather than distract from the pain at the center of these songs, the soaring guitars and walloping drumbeats instead provide intense release. This is what Springsteen meant by the redemptive power of rock. For Grace, the short-term pain that comes with truth is a necessary evil. The goal here is triumph, and it’s just within her reach. [Peter Tabakis]

Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #7 Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #7


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Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #7

This week’s Tracking, the weekly series in which we discuss our current favorite songs, features music from Against Me!, The Antlers, Jamie xx, Yumi Zouma, Wye Oak and Mikal Cronin.

Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #7 Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #7

Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #7

Against Me!, “Transgender Dysmorphia Blues” / “True Trans Soul Rebel”
Gender ambiguity has been ubiquitous in the last four decades of American culture. From Bowie’s 70s heyday to the cult popularity of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” blurred notions of masculinity and femininity have almost exclusively been presented (and largely accepted) with glamour. A trans* person’s daily life, of course, bears little resemblance to such drag pageantry. Even in the best cases, a trans* individual faces a daily threat of suspicion and scorn, if not actual physical danger. This is the side of trans* identity that has been conspicuously absent in popular art, though there are some notable exceptions. Even fewer examples exist in music, the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch coming closest to (often brilliantly) dramatizing a trans* character’s internal experience through song.

So when Transgender Dysphoria Blues arrived earlier this year, it felt like a genuine breakthrough. Against Me! lead singer Laura Jane Grace launches into her artistic outing as a trans woman by laying all bare. Referring to herself in the second-person on the album’s title track, which opens Transgender Dysphoria Blues, she spits an immediately iconic lyric: “You’ve got no cunt in your strut/ You’ve got no hips to shake.” This, of course, is meant to shock. But it’s not presented for mere shock value. By using the dirtiest word in the English language, Grace jolts us out of our skin and makes plain the anger and self-loathing surrounding her (seeming) inability to “pass” for her true gender. “True Trans Soul Rebel” follows and is all the more devastating, with Grace fighting thoughts of suicide.

Against Me! juxtapose the dejection of Grace’s words by smartly turning “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” and “True Trans Soul Rebel” into a pair of forceful stadium-rock anthems. Rather than distract from the pain at the center of these songs, the soaring guitars and walloping drumbeats instead provide intense release. This is what Springsteen meant by the redemptive power of rock. For Grace, the short-term pain that comes with truth is a necessary evil. The goal here is triumph, and it’s just within her reach. [Peter Tabakis]

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Our 10 Most Anticipated Albums of April 2014

An indie supergroup, a Britpop superstar, a gap-toothed slacker, 90s alt-rock veterans and a Le Cordon Bleu-trained saucier are among the artists releasing albums we’re excited about in April.

Our 10 Most Anticipated Albums of April 2014
10 SZA, Z [April 8]

Our 10 Most Anticipated Albums of April 2014
09 Kelis, Food [April 29]

Our 10 Most Anticipated Albums of April 2014
08 EELS, The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett [April 22]

Our 10 Most Anticipated Albums of April 2014
07 EMA, The Future’s Void [April 8]

Our 10 Most Anticipated Albums of April 2014
06 Cloud Nothings, Here and Nowhere Else [April 1]

Our 10 Most Anticipated Albums of April 2014 Our 10 Most Anticipated Albums of April 2014


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Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #6

This week’s Tracking, the weekly series in which we discuss our current favorite songs, features music from Future Islands, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, Perfect Pussy and Liars.

Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #6 Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #6

Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #6

Future Islands, “Seasons (Waiting On You)”
Much of the hay made from the autumnal fodder of Future Islands’ “Seasons (Waiting on You)” has to do with frontman Samuel Herring’s dance moves, as executed late in the evening of March 3 during the band’s network television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman. It’s reductive, obviously, but I think the focus on Herring’s meme-inspiring, impassioned maneuvering is reasonably appropriate – his alternating of a bendy-knee’d wobble with yearning reaches for celestial bodies with an audible pounding of his own chest and head manifests as the physical mirror of his band’s unabashed knack for the shamelessly, heart-renderingly emotional. Herring and company hold nothing back; why would they? Why would anybody? On Thursday of SXSW during a set they played at 2:30pm Herring spoke between songs about staring contemplatively at the sea somewhere in North Carolina, he spoke about the memory of those who had lost their lives the night before, he spoke about coming home from tour to find you have lost everything. He reached for the blazing sun as though it had stolen something from him (time?) and he could pinch it out in vengeance. “Seasons” is a song about people changing; it is a song that you can probably find a referent for in your own life that made you want to reach for the sun and pinch it out or make time run backwards or roar like Herring does sometimes, summoning it forth from himself like an exorcised demon. It is also a song that makes you want to dance, so you should dance. Why wouldn’t you? If you have to purge the feeling from yourself here’s the antidote, sweat it out. [Genevieve Oliver]

Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #6 Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #6


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Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #5

This week’s Tracking, the weekly series in which we discuss our current favorite songs, features music from tUnE-yArDs, The War on Drugs, How To Dress Well, Sun Kil Moon, Freddie Gibs & Madlib, Danny Brown and Viet Cong.

Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #5 Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #5

Tracking Our Favorite Songs of 2014 #5

tUnE-yArDs, “Water Fountain”
If there is one talent that Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs has always possessed, it is the ability to make you get up and move. And by move, I mean that kind of embarrassing one-person dance party that takes over in the midst of some quotidian activity, and ends with you singing into your toothbrush. We’ve all been there.

However, with Garbus the true miracle reveals itself after the fact. You emerge from the end of “Water Fountain” only to wonder what exactly it was that you just danced to. Sure, it was catchy, but some reflection yields little more than some snippets about bear hunting, blood-soaked currency, and an omnipresent preoccupation with water. The New England native is not alone to blame for this though. Bassist Nate Brenner scores a brilliant assist in helping to craft a tribal, multi-layered concoction as busy as Garbus’ subject matter. The result is a cacophonous, chaotic affair, that swells with each subsequent verse before igniting in a sublime final minute replete with percussive slaps, yells, and several well-timed woo-has. Her voice as commanding as ever, Garbus spins a yarn that borders on the whimsical, containing an allegory that persists throughout. “Greasy men come and dig my well / Life without your water is a burning hell,” she chants in a particularly lucid, and mordant, moment. It’s ambiguous, and infinitely interpretable, but by virtue of a hypnotic rhythm and the sheer vitality of Garbus’ voice, it works. If the remainder of Nikki Nack is equally as enthralling, it could be entirely in Mandarin, and still have me belting out the words into my toothbrush by the end. [Jean-Luc Marsh]

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Which of Our Favorite Bands at SXSW 2014 Are You?

by GENEVIEVE OLIVER

PREVIOUSLY: The Sound of SXSW 2014 – the 8 bands we were most looking forward to most.

Greetings dear readers from a beautiful adobe house outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I’m crashing while my friend’s broken-down car gets repaired and while our SXSW afterglow – by which I mean, that composed of a smarting sunburn, stress acne, a thin sheen of beer-y sweat, and the pandemonium of ringing in my ears – fades like a smoldering Texan sunset. It was another great year for music, but a sobering one otherwise, with the festival’s typical free beer-fueled debauchery reaching a truly awful low with a disastrous drunk driving accident Wednesday night. It was another reminder of how short and sweet life is – let’s do honor to the two music fans who lost their lives by vowing to live life as fully as we can at SXSW’s and other festivals to come, while keeping a sense of responsibility for ourselves and looking out for our friends, loved ones, and peers.

To get the good stuff across to you this year I drew some inspiration from my social networking feeds – every other week of the year, I’m treated to all my friends’ Buzzfeed quiz results (a lot of people I know got Brie in the “what cheese are you?” one, which is probably why we are friends), but during South By I get an endless stream of what acts my friends are catching, how many fish tacos they’ve eaten, and plenty of different euphemisms for their intense hungover exhaustion. So, voila – which of my favorite bands at SXSW 2014 are you? Keep track of what letter answers you choose; that’s how you’ll meet your match. And remember, be honest. Let’s go -

If you were an ancient god, how would you keep your followers in line?
A. Demanding human sacrifice
B. Supplying devotees with lots of mind-altering drugs
C. Hypnosis
D. A vaguely intimidating but still inclusive presence
E. Love, affection, and a sense of we’re all in this together-ness
F. The sheer power and force of your awe-inspiring presence
G. Leaving foreign, cryptic, and/or surrealist messages
H. Lots of intent eye contact

Which mythological creature do you most identify with?
A. A post-singularity android
B. Lovecraft’s undersea alien god, Cthulhu
C. A poltergeist – creepy, but just having fun
D. A banshee
E. Puck, the playful Shakespearian trickster
F. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love
G. A many-headed hydra
H. Medusa, whose gaze can turn you to stone

You run into the devil at a crossroads and he offers you your heart’s desire in exchange for your soul. What do you swap for?
A. Unreal, impossible guitar shredding skills
B. The ability to summon demons at will
C. A really, really, really good groove
D. The ability to communicate telepathically with your friends
E. The power to get an entire crowd on your side through the sheer force of your dance moves
F. The singing voice of a goddess (or Nina Simone)
G. A decent baguette in Austin
H. The slow and painful death of everyone who has ever wronged you

Describe the atmosphere in which you feel most comfortable.
A. The future
B. A featureless, eerie, so-quiet-your-ears-ring desert out of your favorite Cormac McCarthy novel
C. A thick pine forest at dusk, preferably in the rain
D. A packed warehouse full of smoke and sweaty bodies
E. Staring at the sea contemplating the fantastic infinitude of human existence
F. An old-school jazz hall
G. A Dadaist Parisian club
H. The peace, quiet, and privacy of your own bedroom

How do you feel about dance moves?
A. I like them so painstakingly choreographed so as to appear robotic
B. Must be kinda violent, with guitars only
C. What?
D. They can be a really good way to get cardio
E. I go for that totally into-it embarrassing dad vibe
F. I shoot for sexy and somewhat coordinated
G. Mine are coordinated occasionally and seemingly by accident
H. I prefer just staring down my dance-off opponents

Choose the most punk thing from this list of punk things.
A. A stage persona that suggests demonic possession
B. Laying down some of the evilest riffs imaginable on a floral guitar possibly decorated with help from your grandmother
C. Extending an epic last song until the sound guy cuts you off by unplugging all your instruments
D. Jumping around amongst your audience during every song
E. Touring literally endlessly since your inception as a band
F. Breaking out your biggest hit live – and adding an insane trombone solo
G. Coordinated. Leather. Jackets.
H. Busting out a whole lot of rather blunt fuck-you’s to ex-lovers, in a church

How many guitars?
A. All you really need is one, but occasionally a second will do
B. Three – and an insane array of pedals, and the amp quotient thus necessitated
C. Two, duetting in perfect concert
D. One, plus some crazy effects
E. None – you can get the desired effect with vocals, bass and synths
F. None, but a veritable army of brass players
G. Who cares when you could have three keyboards?
H. Two – rhythm and lead, bare-bones for maximum heartstring-shredding

How do you like your eardrum annihilation?
A. Served on a silver platter of brutal and brilliant guitar pyrotechnics
B. Drone-shattered, complete, and undiscerning
C. Melted by a ton of perfectly syncopated, jangly feedback
D. Scorched by shrieking yelp after shrieking yelp
E. Shocked into submission by a combination of ’80s romantic baritone and metal-ish roaring
F. Wiped out by a relentless horn section
G. Frazzled by crazy synth riffs galore
H. Blocked by the force of your own tears

You’re heading out with friends for a night at the club. What look are you rocking?
A. A top artfully ripped and colored so as to appear covered in blood
B. A full-on Wild West villain look with some snakeskin cowboy boots
C. Jeans and a t-shirt, to keep it chill
D. A cut-up band tee and a ton of bright colors
E. Anything movement-friendly enough to allow for full showcasing of your dancefloor skills, while still remaining professional
F. Flowing layers and jewels galore
G. A leather jacket, Doc Martens, and/or a Hawaiian shirt
H. Something simple and classy – plus great eyeliner

Click here to check out the results page!


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PMA Guide to SXSW 2014: Friday & Saturday

by GENEVIEVE OLIVER

PREVIOUSLY: The Sound of SXSW 2014 – 8 bands sure to make waves in Austin

Every year my SXSW advice is the same – drink so much water (to balance out all the free beer), for God’s sake don’t eat tacos for every meal, and if you’re waiting in line for more than ten minutes, just leave and try something else. This year I’m sticking to my guns, but I’m also going to add, try eating fruit once in a while! It feels amazing! Last year I figured this out while holding an amazing, delicious, absolutely heaven-sent plum in one hand, a whiskey ginger in the other, and watching a band I’d never heard before who are now among my favorites, just because I’d come to the venue to sit down. I guess that just goes to show that sometimes the best thing to do at SXSW is heed the demands of your increasingly exhausted body above those of your increasingly frazzled mind. It also just goes to show that it’s probably a good idea to have a backup plan and be willing to improvise, because that’s often how you catch the best stuff. Here’s my plan A, but don’t hold me to it, because 1) I have no patience for lines, and There Will Be Lines, and 2) I might just see Destruction Unit twelve times.

FRIDAY MARCH 14

PMA Guide to SXSW 2014: Friday & Saturday If your tastes lean anywhere toward the remotely garage-y, you probably know that the way, the truth, and the light is Brooklyn’s Exploding in Sound records. Even if you haven’t been inducted into the fold, you might just find yourself part of the cult by Friday, because the label are offering up a showcase that’s top-to-bottom amazing, not to mention will give you an excuse to stay in one place all day (which, trust me, seems like heaven by SXSW Friday) and still see nine trillion incredible bands. A sampling of the good stuff – Speedy Ortiz, Potty Mouth, Big Ups, Palehound, Yvette, Tyvek, Total Slacker, Eternal Summers, and more. It all goes down at Hole in the Wall from 11am til 2am.

If you feel like switching it up a little, try Future Classic’s party at Empire Garage in the afternoon, with sets from SOPHIE, Panama, Classixx, and more – and hey, you can run over to Empire Control Room at 3:45 to see Destruction Unit. And at night, shoot for Pitchfork’s official showcase at Central Presbyterian Church, which is sure to bring the tears (of emotion and exhaustion) with sets from Hundred Waters, Mark Kozelek, Angel Olsen, Real Estate, and EMA; if that doesn’t work out, run across town to Hotel Vegas for Panache’s always-amazing party, with Ex-Cult, Odonis Odonis, La Luz, Speedy Ortiz, and more.

SATURDAY MARCH 15
If you didn’t heed our advice to stay in one place all Friday and are now fiercely regretting it, we’ve got your Saturday camp-out all squared away, provided you can summon the chutzpah to mosh a little – hit up Panache’s Ty Segall-curated party at Spiderhouse, which’ll go all day and night with sets from Ty himself, Coachwhips (the new/old project of Thee Oh Sees’ John Dwyer), Calvin Love, La Luz, Destruction Unit, Entrance Band, and more.

PMA Guide to SXSW 2014: Friday & Saturday Alternatively, if you’ve chugged the requisite amount of coffee to equalize all the beer in your system, we’re presenting The Beehive with the Wild Honey Pie at Cheer Up Charlie’s Saturday afternoon, with sets from Small Black, Pure Bathing Culture, the High Highs, Oberhofer, and more. Not too far down the street, Check Yo Ponytail’s are putting on a showcase at Empire Garage and Control Room, with a diverse, awesome lineup that includes Ratking, Dum Dum Girls, Lizzo, TRUST, Youth Code, and more. Stick around there at night for Neon Gold’s party and another chance to see holychild and , as well as HAERTS, Wet, Anamanaguchi, and more. Or, there’s an awesome official showcase at Elysium, featuring TRUST, EMA, Empress Of, Gary Numan, and more.

One of the most exciting and frustrating things about SXSW is that there’s still so much to be announced (OutKast reunion? 50 Cent appearance? BrooklynVegan’s daily, always-perfect, on-the-pulse parties? And I’m still holding out for a surprise Spoon show?), so keep checking Twitter and embrace primitive forms of media by reading posters on the street. If you’re underage, more power to you – sxswunderaged.com is your best friend. Keep your water bottle full, have a plan B, a plan C, and a plan D, and don’t be embarrassed to just say screw it all and drive to Barton Springs for the afternoon – I’ll probably see you there. I’m raising my preemptive Lone Star tallboy to you; may you see all your favorite bands and survive the week with your sanity and physical health intact.

Whether we’ll see you down there or you’ll be checking out live streams from the somewhat enviable comfort of your own home, let us know who you’re psyched about. We’ll return the favor at the end of the week – stay tuned!


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PMA Guide to SXSW 2014: Thursday

by GENEVIEVE OLIVER

PREVIOUSLY: The Sound of SXSW 2014 – 8 bands sure to make waves in Austin

(Update: our thoughts are with the families of the victims of last night’s tragic hit-and-run in Austin.)

Every year my SXSW advice is the same – drink so much water (to balance out all the free beer), for God’s sake don’t eat tacos for every meal, and if you’re waiting in line for more than ten minutes, just leave and try something else. This year I’m sticking to my guns, but I’m also going to add, try eating fruit once in a while! It feels amazing! Last year I figured this out while holding an amazing, delicious, absolutely heaven-sent plum in one hand, a whiskey ginger in the other, and watching a band I’d never heard before who are now among my favorites, just because I’d come to the venue to sit down. I guess that just goes to show that sometimes the best thing to do at SXSW is heed the demands of your increasingly exhausted body above those of your increasingly frazzled mind. It also just goes to show that it’s probably a good idea to have a backup plan and be willing to improvise, because that’s often how you catch the best stuff. Here’s my plan A, but don’t hold me to it, because 1) I have no patience for lines, and There Will Be Lines, and 2) I might just see Destruction Unit twelve times.

THURSDAY MARCH 13

PMA Guide to SXSW 2014: Thursday Thursday afternoon presents you with three equally amazing party opportunities and, thus, a choice that’ll break your heart – Stereogum’s showcase at the Mohawk (Cloud Nothings, EMA, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Speedy Ortiz, Chloë Howl, Big Ups and Perfect Pussy are playing!), round two of Pitchfork’s French Legation day shows (with the amazing Viet Cong, Eagulls, Future Islands, and Mutual Benefit), and Thrasher Magazine’s party at Scoot Inn, where Ratking, Fucked Up, Destruction Unit, and Together Pangea will melt your face off (Tyler the Creator and Ryan Hemsworth also show up!). Choose wisely, because those three venues are scattered all over town. And look at me giving you this advice, knowing full well that I will attempt somehow to do all three.

PMA Guide to SXSW 2014: Thursday There are way too many choices at night, too, but 4AD’s official showcase at Cheer Up Charlie’s looks like the winner, with sets from Empress Of, Merchandise, Future Islands, S O H N and Kirin J Callinan. Or, you could try Gorilla vs. Bear’s party at Hype Hotel, which boasts sets from SOPHIE, BANKS, Pure Bathing Culture and London Grammar, or brave the crowds at Doc Martens’ party at Bar 96, which might present your only opportunity to see Parquet Courts and Real Estate.


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